Hospital Auxiliary adds addition to Vavenby Thrift Store

Volunteers from ages 18 to 80 spent two days putting up the framework of the new pricing room

Volunteer Joan Harrison shows customer Judy Alexander one of the new bathing suits that were recently donated for sale to the Vavenby Auxiliary thrift store. Alexander said she has always enjoyed stopping by the store for books

Volunteer Joan Harrison shows customer Judy Alexander one of the new bathing suits that were recently donated for sale to the Vavenby Auxiliary thrift store. Alexander said she has always enjoyed stopping by the store for books

Mary Neathway

After nearly two years of planning and building, the Dr. Helmcken Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store in Vavenby now has more space.

Customers and workers had complained that the store was becoming too crowded and that something needed to be done.

Once auxiliary treasurer Sue Ludtke said the funds had been saved, volunteer project manager Tim Pennell met with the unit members to discuss what kind of space they wanted, what it would be used for and what could be done with the budget amount available.

In May, 2013, a building weekend was organized and volunteers from ages 18 to 80 spent two days putting up the framework of the new pricing room. Ray Harrison brought his travel trailer to the site. Harrison’s wife Joan and Barb Pennell used the space to provide  meals for the workers.

Over the ensuing months Hazel Dowds volunteered to help with the gyproc, the interior and roof were finished, Barb Pennell painted the walls, and Ray Harrison reworked the shelves from the old pricing room.

The new space is now being used.

“It’s a pleasure to work in here, ” said store coordinator Reita Vandenborre. “It’s so much lighter, we’ve got better storage space and room to move.”

The old pricing room has been turned into sales space. Once again, Barb Pennell freshened the walls with a coat of paint. Tim and Ray raised the floor and put down linoleum. The staff has carefully planned what stock will go into the room and customers are delighted at the bright, spacious area.

“Now we can showcase some of our new items, “said volunteer Mary Neathway. “Plus, we have room to put out some of the bigger things.”

The new addition still needs siding, there are shelves to be added and more interior renovations to be done, but the members of the Vavenby unit of the hospital auxiliary couldn’t be more pleased with the way the store now looks.

All the work was done by volunteers, except the electrical upgrades, and all funding came from hospital auxiliary accounts, earmarked and donated for the purpose. Thanks to careful budgeting, and volunteer labour, Pennell has brought the project to near completion well under budget.

 

The store is also an outlet for eco cards.